Therapeutic exploitation of neutrophils to fight cancer

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Antibody-based immunotherapy is a promising strategy in cancer treatment. Antibodies can directly inhibit tumor growth, induce complement-dependent cytotoxicity and induce Fc receptor-mediated elimination of tumor cells by macrophages and natural killer cells. Until now, however, neutrophils have been largely overlooked as potential effector cells, even though they are the most abundant type of immune cells in the circulation. Neutrophils display heterogeneity, especially in the context of cancer. Therefore, their role in cancer is debated. Nevertheless, neutrophils possess natural anti-tumor properties and appropriate stimulation, i.e. specific targeting via antibody therapy, induces potent tumor cell killing, especially via targeting of the immunoglobulin A Fc receptor (FcαRI, CD89). In this review we address the mechanisms of tumor cell killing by neutrophils and the role of neutrophils in induction of anti-tumor immunity. Moreover, possibilities for therapeutic targeting are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101581
Pages (from-to)101581
JournalSeminars in Immunology
Early online date15 Dec 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Dec 2021


  • Antibody
  • CD89
  • IgA
  • Immunotherapy
  • PMN
  • Tumor

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